Case No. 1
The PA to a Director assessed her working relationship with him on a scale of 1-10 as “minus 100!” and was actively looking for another job. During mediation they were able to express some very strong emotions and were for the first time able to talk freely about a painful incident that had robbed them of their working relationship and their close friendship. They ended the day with their relationship completely restored and smiles on their faces as they left the room. They were still working together when I next spoke to them a few months later.
Case No. 2
Two women fell out over an incident at the office drinks machine. One lodged a formal grievance and then appealed against the outcome of the ensuing management investigation and decision not to take disciplinary action but to instead recommend mediation. The dispute was fully resolved in less than a morning to both women’s satisfaction. The manager was very pleased with the speed and effectiveness of the resolution and one of the women commented
I felt the mediation was excellent. This was the first time I tried mediation and it is an excellent method of reaching common ground when there is a disagreement between colleagues.
A multi-disciplinary team of 9 people were struggling to work together with several considering leaving the organisation. As a result of mediation the team were able to recover their team spirit to win the organisation’s annual ‘team of the year’ award. The following year, one member of the team who systematically undermined team cohesion and did not respond to warnings and informal support was on HR advice disciplined and at this point stopped her destructive behaviour.